Sample box, 1950s
Sample box showing the process of making Rayon from wood pulp and viscose. 1950s.
Courtaulds was established in 1794 and became the world’s leading man-made fibre production company. They had two factories at Greenfield and employed thousands of local people. The Greenfield site closed in the 1980s and the factory a photographic record was kept prior to demolition. A number of objects were saved and donated to the museum. The museum holds a large number of photographs in its collection as well as objects from the factory and the Holywell Textile Mill which it also owned. Most of the objects are on display in the Shippon and the photographs are available to view by appointment.
Spinning equipment and machines from the factories are located outside the Lower Cotton Mill building, a short walk up the Valley from the museum. These were used for washing the pulp fibres in caustic soda. To find out more about the process of creating Rayon and the history of Courtaulds visit our museum exhibition.